Monday, 10 March 2008

Rewarding Loyalty?

A 'hamper' of Thornton's chocolates arrives from Norwich Union Direct insurance. It's to reward my loyalty for renewing my house insurance 14 days before renewal. They say it's worth £30. Funny that. When I used some screen-scraper websites to seek a more competitive quote M&S Money came up exactly 30 quid cheaper. Would Norwich Union Direct match the lower quote? Long answer (get my call escalated to a supervisor etc) No, Norwich Union don't 'quote match'. So they are quite happy to let a customer who hasn't claimed for 12 years walk away for 30 quid I ask - despite having collected over 3 grand in premiums? 'Yes' is the short answer.

So why did I stay with Norwich Union - surely it must have been my sweet tooth, rather than the bitter taste in my mouth? Actually what the manager did do was allow me to choose from any of the loyalty 'incentives' on her list. I took £25 worth of M&S vouchers - I can use them so they're almost as good as cash to me (many people also ebay them, but I won't) - and they arrived two days later. A month later Norwich Union sent me the chocolates too (an error I assume).

My loyalty has been rewarded - but I really would rather have had £30 off the premium.


Loyalty is much valued by retailers. I'm sure we all have a wallet or purse full of their cards, Nectar, Club card etc, etc. The Shell Driver's club must be one of the meanest. If my memory serves me correctly 20 litres spend is worth 1 airmile. With Unleaded at over a pound a litre you'll have to spend at least £15,000 on petrol to earn 1 flight to Paris...

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